With hundreds of different lily varieties available to choose from, it may seem overwhelming to choose which bulbs are best for your garden. There are a few tips to follow that will help narrow down your selection, taking in to consideration climate, garden size, and design.
Bulbs are easily purchased on the Internet and through mail order. This gives you time to really think about your choices. Most importantly, purchase bulbs that are rated for your growing zone. Lily varieties vary greatly in their temperature tolerance. For instance, Asiatic and Oriental lilies grow well in Northern climates.
Now, think about the space you will be allotting for your lily garden. Make sure it is full of sun and will not collect standing water. It might help to draw out the space and pencil in lines that divide the garden into sections. Plant tall lilies in the back of your garden and shorter ones in front. Choose early, mid, and late blooming lilies to ensure a colorful garden all season. From a design perspective, plant complementing colors near each other to add emphasis to each. If you have a large garden space to work with, you may choose bulbs according to a theme. For instance, you may have a garden comprised of different varieties in the same hue.
Once you have chosen the specific lily bulbs you want to plant, use your map to decide the quantity necessary to fill the space. Most bulbs will be planted 8 to 12 inches apart. Plant three or five of the same variety to a group, and allow extra space between different groups. Purchase your bulbs in the late fall or early spring. You will need to plant them as soon as they arrive, or else keep them in a cool place like the refrigerator.
Your lilies will bloom for years to come, so put some thought into choosing the right bulbs, considering your growing zone and garden space.